County Councillor Marianne Overton MBE says…
With one in five of the overall population in England set to be over 65 in a decade, a “residential revolution” is needed to provide more homes that support our ageing population, the Local Government Association (LGA) set outs today.
We have more older people needing smaller properties, so Councils need to get engaged in providing high quality community housing that suits older people. The Local Government Association (where I am Vice Chairman) has produced an excellent report explaining how much Councils are already doing.
North Kesteven District Council has one of the best records in the country for building council houses and now also commercial properties that fill our local needs.
Lincolnshire Independents have pushed for housing to match the local needs and resources, and it is the District Council who are now hard at work to make it happen.
Councils have the incentive because we want to serve the needs of our local residents. We also have an advantage in that we can borrow capital securely and are prepared to work for a lower profit margin as it matches what Councils need to be doing.
This report identifies that many retirees want to ‘rightsize’ and live in attractive retirement housing in later life, but there is a chronic under-supply of high quality, affordable or desirable age-friendly accommodation in the right locations.
Only 0.6 per cent of over 65s live in housing with care, which is 10 times less than in more mature retirement housing markets such as the USA and Australia, where over 5 per cent of over 65s live in housing with care. As the Housing LIN has long advocated, the suitability of the housing stock is of critical importance to the health of individuals and also impacts on the demand for public spending, particularly social care and the NHS.
However, this report shows that Councils across the country are innovating when it comes to delivering housing for older people. The report sets out a series of detailed case studies which demonstrate good practice in how councils (urban, rural, two-tier and unitary) are playing a significant place-making role in shaping the current and future supply of housing for an ageing population in their areas – from building new homes which are attractive to older people wanting to ‘right-size’, to ensuring housing is at the heart of integrated care.
The report recommends that: